Did you know teleprompters were created to help soap stars not politicians? I know we have one CEO event production client that will use a teleprompter every time we do meeting production for his company. On the last 3 meetings he has requested a teleprompter. Yet he really doesn’t use it. But it makes him more comfortable. The first teleprompter was used in 1949 and it was invented by Frank Barkau who wrote the script on a long roll of paper and loaded it onto a hand cranked scroll.
A teleprompter now is basically a two way mirror. The modern teleprompters use a dielectrically coated like electroplating with a molecule thin layer of aluminum or iron. The speaker can see their script on the mirror, which reflects it from underneath. The audience only sees a transparent pane. Little better than Franks hand cranked scroll
If you are high definition shooting your executives at a teleprompter be-careful of picking up the teleprompter. Standard definition doesn’t seem to have a problem. New low iron silica glass hopefully will take care of this problem.
Make sure you get the content as early as possible to the teleprompter tech. Doing a rehearsal is always a great way to head off any unanticipated problems when show time runs around fr the tech or the speaker.
Ronald Reagan was called “The Great Communicator” and always used a teleprompter. So encourage your executives to use them if it makes them more comfortable.
From Wikipedia— A teleprompter (also known as an autocue) is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to the practice of using cue cards. The screen is in front of and usually below the lens of the camera, and the words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the performer using a sheet of clear glass or specially prepared beam splitter. Light from the performer passes through the front side of the glass into the lens, while a shroud surrounding the lens and the back side of the glass prevents unwanted light from reflecting into the lens.
As the speaker does not need to look down to consult written notes, he or she appears to have memorized the speech or be speaking spontaneously, and will look directly into the camera lens. Cue cards, on the other hand, will always be placed away from the lens axis, making the speaker look at a point beside the camera, which leaves a “distracted” impression.
Image Credit for Clever Kindle Teleprompter– PrimeImageMedia.com